Numbness & Pins & Needles into the fingers & hand
Pronator Teres Syndrome is a treatable condition that causes numbness and Pins & needles into the fingers coupled with dull forearm pain. Pronator Teres is a muscle of the forearm whose function is to turn the wrist inwards and to a lesser degree, bending the elbow. When this muscle becomes tight due to repetitive wrist movements, the median nerve which passes through the pronator teres muscle becomes compressed at its origin within the elbow joint, causing forearm pain on movement. The median nerve controls movement and sensation in the muscles of the forearm, hand, partial area of thumb, index, middle and inner area of ring finger. When the median nerve becomes compressed within the pronator teres muscle, referral pain in the form of numbness and Pins & needles is felt into the extremities of the hand. This condition can affect Carpenters, Tennis players, Hurlers and people who constantly work with their hands.
Furthermore some people experience a weakness in the pinching power of their index finger and thumb. In this situation the anterior Interosseous nerve of the forearm, which is a branch of the median nerve, becomes compresses under the muscles responsible for bending the wrist and fingers.
Signs & Symptoms
Forearm pain that worsens when turning the wrist inwards & outwards such as when using a screwdriver or turning a door knob.
A Feeling of fatigue and weakness in the forearm muscles
Occasional Numbness and Pins & Needles into the palm of the hand, thumb, middle & index finger.
It also refers pain into the inside half of the ring finger.
Poor feeling sensation into the palm of the hand.
Treatment & Management
People who attend my clinic with these symbols are commonly frustrated. When treating the condition, it is essential that the tightened Pronator teres muscle and surrounding Wrist muscles are stretched through the use of soft tissue techniques. A rest from the repetitive activities that aggravate the pain is also vitally important in order to allow inflammation within the tight muscle to heel. Use of anti-inflammatory medication and a elbow flexion splint can also aid the recovery process.
Next week I will discuss further painful elbow conditions.
Tomás Ryan is a Registered Physical Therapist with The Irish Association of Physical Therapy and is based in Thurles.
Contact Number: 086 3275 753
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